Sonny Bradley’s 90th minute equaliser earned Luton a 1-1 friendly draw over Premier League West Ham
West Ham have to settle for a late 1-1 draw with Luton Town as the stoppage time equalizer earns the Championship share of the spoils in the preseason exhibition game after Tomas Soucek’s first half header
- Sonny Bradley’s equalizing goal in the 90th minute gave Luton a draw to West Ham
- Tomas Soucek’s header in the first half gave the visitors a lead for late drama
- The Kenilworth Road game was Luton’s last pre-season outing for next week
- French side Lens will be West Ham’s next friendly opponent in a week’s time
The Kenilworth Road in Luton Town is a world away from some of the pre-season environment that other Premier League globetrotters enjoy.
Yet this creaky old stadium seemed just as good a place to stretch your legs – until one last, sweltering goal from Luton, denied David Moyes’ West Ham victory.
Everything looked rosy when two minutes of stoppage time were announced. West Ham led 1-0 thanks to a combination that Moyes hopes will pay off next season. Aaron Cresswell had passed the ball from the left and Tomas Soucek had googled a flashy header into the far corner.
Tomas Soucek scored the opener for West Ham but they were fed back with late drama
Moyes would repeat that routine in two weeks when West Ham open their Premier League season against Manchester City at the London Stadium.
But with their first real shot at the game, Luton equalized after Sonny Bradley pushed in a corner, making it 1-1 in the final few seconds.
Moyes’ men should have scored two or three goals by this stage, but Ethan Horvath, the United States international in goal for Luton, was in one of those moods.
Horvath prevented Nikola Vlasic from burying one in the lower corner, and Mikhail Antonio when he went through one on one. While it was a smart save, it’s Antonio’s lack of clinicalness that makes you think West Ham still need to sign a striker before this transfer window closes.
Moyes had to rearrange his defense a bit due to injuries. Nayef Aguerd is sidelined due to an ankle problem he sustained in their last friendly against Rangers. The £30million central defender is expected to miss the start of their Premier League season. The club has yet to put a timeline on his recovery as they wait for the swelling on his ankle to subside before sending him for another scan.
Soucek celebrated with his fellow Hammers, although they eventually had to share the result
Declan Rice was one of many top quality players on display for Luton Town fans to enjoy
Likewise, Issa Diop and Craig Dawson were nursing and so didn’t show up here in Luton, while Angelo Ogbonna is with the Under-21s.
So Moyes put in a back three from Ben Johnson, Kurt Zouma and Aaron Cresswell, with Vladimir Coufal and Arthur Masuaku as full-backs.
West Ham were sloppy at first, including Declan Rice making a few loose passes. But they soon forced themselves on their Championship opponents.
Soucek’s header came in the 27th minute and from then on it seemed like a routine job. No straining, no injuries, no worries for Moyes. The second half saw a performance for Flynn Downes, West Ham’s new £12million signing from Swansea, while a few youngsters such as Conor Coventry and Harrison Ashby also got a few minutes.
But the Luton leveler denied West Ham another pre-season win in their preparations for Pep Guardiola’s City machine on August 7.